Home » Game on: Belgium – Portugal, Switzerland – Portugal, Bolivia – Portugal

Game on: Belgium – Portugal, Switzerland – Portugal, Bolivia – Portugal

“This was not too bad, in terms of tolls,” says Marco and enjoys another sip of his red port, which I poured into a beautiful antique glass especially for the occasion. “It now came to about 87 euros with our regular car – quite a difference when we came with the van. Then you are in the highest category, you pay double or so. Especially in France, which is still the most expensive.”

They drove in one go from Belgium to Portugal

That’s possible if there are two of you and you don’t have any whining children in the back. It’s fine if you’re driving out of season, especially if you leave on Saturday night. The only one who could complain is dog Keto, or Rita’s knee.

That knee doesn’t want to sit for 30 hours straight. He wants to move every now and then, just like the dog. And the latter sometimes needs to pee. “It’s quite a thing, we used to do it with two fingers in our nose, but you’re starting to notice the age now,” says Rita, and enjoys a sip of red wine just as enjoying as her husband. As far as enjoyment is concerned, things are going well for those two.

We’ll have a drink and a little chat, on a friday night

“Four more years and then we retire,” says Rita, “we have to practice doing nothing a little. He’s good at that” and she points her thumb at Marco, who chuckles, “but I’d like to have something to do. And that is possible here, fortunately.”

(Yes, you can do something here! You can of course bring all kinds of things with you, such as Rita’s diamond painting, a stepsister of mosaic and Bob Ross, but in the Termas you can (learn to) mosaic, draw & paint, play sports, lift weights, run, practice archery or do some gardening. Or the latest: felting. And the goldsmith-neighbors love to teach you how to make jewelry.)

Another guest, who drove from far away, is Anna

She herself had a B&B in Switzerland, but quickly sold it when the C-risis began in 2020, and is now looking for a suitable house in Portugal. Her pugs don’t whine while driving either, they’re used to it. They like it. Especially the dad. Dad also likes to be carried around.

“I actually have to hurry, but I don’t feel like that right now,” Anna laughs, “I don’t know if this will work out… I’ve already seen so many houses… but well, that man is driving from Lisbon so I can’t cancel it, that would not be a nice thing to do.” She shows a photo of a typical portuguese house from the fifties on her phone. “Oh, that’s nice,” I respond in surprise, “beautiful ocher, and there is quite a large area of terrain. With olives? Yes, looks like… maybe 10 olive trees. Well good luck! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is your dream home!”

The Bolivian family is cleaning up on the adjacent camping field

They had a great time, especially with the foosball table. The two sisters and the two children against each other, while Dad made himself comfortable on the couch. They did not drive all the way here from Bolivia – if that’s even possible – but first moved to Spain.

Bolivia was a paradise until 2019

After the elections, life became a lot more complicated. President Evo Morales “won” but that was contested by saying the results had been tampered with. (Will that become a new trend? If you lose, say that the ballots have been tampered with? Then get ready for the elections in November, Dutch voters!)

Economically, things weren’t going so well either, the Boliviano was very weak against the dollar – sounds good, right? Like I know what I’m talking about.

Spaniards speak a somewhat strange kind of Spanish, but it’s understandable, the Bolivians think, and life there is calmer, more stable, better. Okay… that’s also a way to see it …. was it a year ago that the Catalans wanted to secede? A few years ago that there was 25% unemployment among young people?

Anyway, what do I know. Not much of Bolivia, but now a bit more. A little bit about Switzerland, and maybe a little bit more from Belgium.

What I do know: all these people think Portugal is a five-star-country!


We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.

A big step, especially with two small children.

We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation

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